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AP College Football Poll 2021-22: Final Top 25 Rankings After CFP Championship

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 11, 2022

Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Georgia dethroned Alabama on Monday night to win its third college football national championship and the program's first title since 1980.

The Bulldogs outscored the Crimson Tide 27-9 in the second half en route to a 33-18 victory in the College Football Playoff National Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Quarterback Stetson Bennett was named the Offensive MVP, and safety Lewis Cine took home Defensive MVP honors.

Here's a look at the final Associated Press Top 25 poll following the Dawgs' triumph:

1. Georgia (14-1)

2. Alabama (13-2)

3. Michigan (12-2)

4. Cincinnati (13-1)

5. Baylor (12-2)

6. Ohio State (11-2)

7. Oklahoma State (12-2)

8. Notre Dame (11-2)

9. Michigan State (11-2)

10. Oklahoma (11-2)

11. Ole Miss (10-3)

12. Utah (10-4)

13. Pittsburgh (11-3)

14. Clemson (10-3)

15. Wake Forest (11-3)

16. Louisiana-Lafayette (13-1)

17. Houston (12-2)

18. Kentucky (10-3)

19. BYU (10-3)

20. NC State (9-3)

21. Arkansas (9-4)

22. Oregon (10-4)

23. Iowa (10-4)

24. Utah State (11-3)

25. San Diego State (12-2)

Bama opened the fourth quarter on a 9-0 run to take a five-point lead before the Georgia passing offense, which had struggled for most of the title game, came up with a couple of clutch drives to turn the game around.

Bennett found Adonai Mitchell on a 40-yard touchdown to give the Bulldogs the lead, and then Bennett hit Brock Bowers from 15 yards out to go up by eight. As the Tide tried to drive for the tying score, Kelee Ringo punctuated the win with a 79-yard pick-six.

UGA head coach Kirby Smart said he told the players to soak in the victory:

"I told the guys in the locker room, just take a picture of this, because I think back to the '80 championship picture and seeing all those players and the Frank Walkers and the Herschel Walkers and all these people that have reached out and said things. Our guys have accomplished that, something special, and as they say, they've become legendary, and I want that for them."

Meanwhile, it says a lot about the stature of the Alabama program that finishing second in the final AP poll qualifies as a disappointment. Nick Saban and Co. remain the gold standard of college football despite Monday's loss.

The biggest jump in the final rankings belonged to Kentucky, which leaped seven slots from No. 25 to No. 18 after its Citrus Bowl triumph over Iowa.

BYU and Oregon each dropped seven spots in the last poll. The Cougars lost to UAB in the Independence Bowl, while the Ducks fell short against Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl.

Utah State and San Diego State were the two new arrivals to the poll after the bowl victories.

The 2022 college football season is scheduled to begin Aug. 27, which is just 229 days away.

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